Code of Civil Procedure (Switzerland)

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Basic data
Title: Swiss Code of Civil Procedure
Short title: Code of Civil Procedure
Abbreviation: ZPO
Type: Federal law
Scope: Switzerland
Legal matter: Civil procedural law
legal collection (SR)
Original version from: December 19, 2008
Entry into force on: January 1, 2011
Last change by: AS 2016 4651
Effective date of the
last change:
January 1, 2017
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The Civil Procedure Code of Switzerland is the formell- , ie procedural environment in which civil substantive Disputes decided. While substantive law regulates the individual legal relationships, formal law provides the rules according to which the relevant processes can and must be conducted.

historical development

According to Swiss law, the cantons exercise all rights that are not expressly within the competence of the federal government . For a long time, this only took care of the legal regulation of the Federal Supreme Court , which in Switzerland normally acts as the highest instance . Contrary to the title, the Federal Law on Federal Civil Procedure (BZP), which has existed since 1947, only regulates proceedings before the Federal Supreme Court as the first and only instance in civil law disputes between the Confederation or cantons and cantons.

The procedural law of the lower instances, however, remained a matter for the cantons for decades . Until the end of 2010, each canton had its own code of civil procedure: new codes of civil procedure (e.g. Glarus 2001, Wallis 1998) stood alongside old ones (e.g. Basel-Stadt 1875, Bern 1918). Even on important points, the cantonal codes of civil procedure differed fundamentally in some cases.

Not all cantons knew the justice of the peace, and in some cantons a strict contingency maxim applied . There were also serious differences in some cases with regard to the systems of evidence, the time of lis pendens and the legal remedies available . The fragmentation of law hindered the uniform enforcement of substantive civil law, the mobility of lawyers and the further development of civil procedural law.

In 1999, the preparatory work on a unified Swiss code of civil procedure began. Parliamentary deliberations began in the summer of 2007, and on December 19, 2008 the final version was approved by the federal councils. It came into force on January 1, 2011 (together with the Swiss Code of Criminal Procedure and the revised Lugano Convention ).

Current state

At the cantonal level

As a federal law, the ZPO regulates the civil procedure of the cantonal courts in a fundamental way. It provides for a comprehensive minimum standard that the cantons have to meet. In addition, they also have the option of choosing certain sub-systems at their own discretion (subject to express regulation).

For example , the cantons must adhere to the procedural principles and the regulation of the procedural requirements of the ZPO, but they can voluntarily set up a specialized commercial court.

Certain implementing provisions for the code of civil procedure are still being enacted at cantonal level in the form of statutes or ordinances (as in Bern via the EG ZSJ).

At the national level

As soon as the appeal at cantonal level has been exhausted (or not applied at all), the way to the Federal Supreme Court is open in civil proceedings under certain conditions. Its procedure is regulated outside the ZPO in the Federal Supreme Court Act.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Art. 3 Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation. In: Systematic collection of federal laws. Retrieved February 13, 2012 .
  2. Federal Act on Federal Civil Procedure. In: Systematic collection of federal laws. Retrieved February 13, 2012 .
  3. 06.062 - Business of the Federal Council: Swiss Code of Civil Procedure. In: Vista Curia - Business Database. Swiss Federal Assembly, accessed on February 13, 2012 .
  4. Swiss Code of Civil Procedure (Code of Civil Procedure, ZPO) of December 19, 2008, SR 272 (PDF; 357 kB)
  5. New procedural rules come into force on January 1, 2011 ( Memento from July 20, 2012 in the web archive ) Media release from the Federal Department of Justice and Police from March 31, 2010
  6. Art. 52 ff. Swiss Code of Civil Procedure. In: Systematic collection of federal laws. Retrieved February 13, 2012 .
  7. Art. 6 Swiss Code of Civil Procedure. In: Systematic collection of federal laws. Retrieved February 13, 2012 .
  8. Introductory Act to the Code of Civil Procedure, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Code of Youth Criminal Procedure. (No longer available online.) In: Bernische Systematisches Gesetzessammlung. Archived from the original on March 2, 2012 ; Retrieved February 13, 2012 .